About Common Sense Home – Who We Are and What We Do

Common Sense Home is about using sound judgment to be more self-reliant. It means doing what you can, where you are, with what you have.

We'll cover topics such as:

Being self-reliant isn't about trying to tackle everything on your own, it's about building community and helping out each other. We look forward to growing and learning with you!

Laurie Neverman

Laurie Neverman

Laurie Neverman is the creator of Common Sense Home (formerly Common Sense Homesteading). She was raised on a small dairy farm in northwest Wisconsin, and worked in the family catering business as her summer job through high school and college. She has a BS in Math/ Physics and an MS in Mechanical Engineering with an emphasis in renewable energy.

Her gardening adventures include companion planting, wildcrafting (using weeds for food and medicine), vertical gardening, herbalism and permaculture. Her family’s Green Built certified home includes an attached greenhouse, root cellar and canning pantry, which extend the growing season and allow them to store food for year round use. She hasn’t found a wild edible she wouldn’t try (including quackgrass wine), and grows over 100 varieties of fruit, vegetables, herbs and flowers in her garden each year.

Laurie was a professional caterer during the summer months of high school and college, and earned her bachelors degree in math/physics and her masters in mechanical engineering with an emphasis in renewable energy. Before coming home to raise her family, she operated the world's largest solar water heating system. Learn More About Laurie Neverman.

August Neverman

August Neverman

August Neverman is the Broadband and BCCAN Director for Brown County, WI.

August has experience with: emergency preparedness, all things I/T releated, cyber security, and building design and architecture.

August designed both our homes and has assisted on the design of other homes. August was the CIO for Brown County for 7 years, the I/T Director for the Medical College of Wisconsin for 5 years, and 16 years in I/T with Hospital Sisters Health System. He served 9 years in the Minnesota Air National Guard, which included emergency response training and cyber security work. He has a bachelors in Management Information Systems and a minor in Physics from the University of Wisconsin Superior.

August and Laurie live with their two sons in a Green Built, Energy Star certified home with a permaculture twist in Northeast Wisconsin.

Laurie and August Neverman

Contact Us

You can reach us via email at laurie at commonsensehome dot com. We do not accept unsolicited guest posts. Visit here for advertising inquiries.

Learn More About Our Homestead

Our Homestead – Then and Now – How Things Have Changed

Just in case you're wondering what that plant is at the left of the new Common Sense Home logo, it's common plantain, Plantago major.

My grandmother used to call it medicine leaf, and it was one of the first wild plants (weeds) that I learned to use. I chose as a reminder that the help you need might be found where you least expect it, and that although everyone may not be able to grow a huge garden, almost everyone can grow weeds – or find them in the wild – and put them to good use. 🙂  Self-reliance is about using what you have, wherever you are.

Common Sense Home Logo

Other Common Sense Home Writers

Richard Poplawski

Laurie Neverman's brother, Richard Poplawski. Since his service in the Marines, Rich has been a mechanic, fabricator and “fix just about anything” guy for over 20 years. He lives in northwest Wisconsin in the farmhouse that was owned by his grandparents, and maintains a large orchard and perennial plantings, as well as a vegetable garden. He loves spending time with his grandkids, introducing them to gardening or getting in some fishing with “Papa Rich”.

Debra Ahrens

Debra Ahrens lives with her family on a five acre hobby farm in northeastern Wisconsin which she often describes as ‘short on hobby, long on farm'. Besides the School of Hard Knocks (Life), she attended UW-River Falls, majoring in Dairy Science. Along with her husband Jerry and their three youngest daughters, they raise every kind of domestic poultry known to man, and maybe a few that shouldn't be known. Their furry animal family includes a flock of Suffolk sheep, dairy goats, a few rabbits, their dog and a lone beef heifer, Thelma. In her spare time, Debra is a poultry and sheep project leader for Kewaunee County 4-H.

Amber Bradshaw

Amber Bradshaw of My Homestead Life.

Amber and her family moved from their tiny homestead by the ocean in South Carolina to forty-six acres in the Smoky Mountains in East Tennessee.
While building their off-the-grid homestead, they live like the days of old – cooking without electricity, collecting water from the creek and raising chickens, goats, pigs, turkeys, bees, and guineas. They've recently filmed their journey for a TV show on the Discovery Channel and the DIY Network/HGTV called Building Off The Grid: The Smokey Mountain Homestead.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  1. Hi Laurie,
    I am hoping to use your strawberry rhubarb jam recipe this weekend. I ended up having to freeze my strawberries and rhubarb because I didn’t have time during the season to make jam. I was wondering if you have used frozen fruit when doing this recipe? I do have the Pomona universal pectin.. thank you for your insights.

  2. Hello,
    We’re interested in advertising on commonsensehome.com
    Can you please direct me to the best person to speak to about this?


  3. Hi Laurie, used to follow you on FB…is there any plan to make an account on Gab.com in your near future? I would love it! Thanks

  4. Hello, I’m having a hard time trying to find (3.7 Volt 1000 mAh ICR 18650 Batteries). Do you know where I can purchase about 6 of them? The only company I found is alibaba, but you have to buy 100 units.

  5. I have spent the morning making your orange marmalade. I am done water bathing it and it is thin. I don’t know that it will thicken up. What did I do wrong?

  6. Hello,
    Do you sell Geodesic Greenhouses? If not, might you direct me to, for example, the company you allude to in your Harvest Right article in Cplorado and any others for purposes of comparison?
    Thank you in advance for your assistance.

    1. I’m confused about the wording of your question. In the post I clearly state that we purchased a Harvest Right greenhouse in the very first sentence.

      “In 2018, we purchased a 16′ Harvest Right geodesic dome greenhouse to review.”

      There is no alluding.

      Unfortunately, Harvest Right stopped selling the kits shortly after I wrote my review, due to low demand for the greenhouses and continued high demand for their freeze dryers.

      I spoke with my contact at the company, and he doesn’t know when or if they will be reintroduced. I am not aware of any similar style units, but if you search you can find some other types of custom built geodesic dome greenhouses.

  7. Good afternoon. I hope you can help me with a question about a recipe I’ve thought up for canning beef sliders. I have only been canning a couple of years now but I see no reason this wont work.
    I would like to season ground beef with garlic/s&p, form into thin patties and cook them in the oven, and layer them in hot jars with slice of onion between each patty and process them as I have in the past for ground beef.
    I know contents being too dense is an issue, but with the patty prepared thin (a chicken breast is much thicker) and the onion between should help the heat circulate, it seems to me this should work fine. Can you please share your thoughts? Thanks you for your prompt reply.

    1. I don’t know how well they would stay in patty form, but as long as you keep them thin and use the spacing you describe and cover with canning liquid for heat transfer, it would seem that food safety guidelines are being met.

  8. Just wanted to say hi Laurie, this is a truly wonderful blog! My husband and I also run a homesteading/gardening blog and you are an inspiration!
    Elle Meager

  9. Hi Laurie,

    I learned about you from the Modern Homesteading Summit. Thanks for all your interesting information. I have a question: Where can I find information for homesteading in the tropics? All the information I have encountered has been for homesteads in more northerly climates. I live on a small acreage in the very south of Tamaulipas, Mexico at 22.2331° N, 97.8611° W. Can you point me in the right direction, please?


  10. Hello Sir / Madam,
    I have read the ICF home construction article on your website, It is quite interesting, But I have some questions.

    We live in India the weather condition there it is winter 4 months summer 4 months and raining season 4 months, So this ICF construction is suitable as I look about the weather conditions will change 3 times in a year.

    The durability/life span of a home how many years, it will stand with the living condition.

    the cost of construction how it will vary as compared to old kind of construction i.e bricks and concrete use.

    Please help me with this, I will be looking forward for your reply.

    Thank you


    1. Properly built, ICF construction should last for decades, possibly generations. The technology has been around since the 1970s, so those early buildings are around 40 years old and counting. The EPS (Expanded Polystyrene) that the forms are created from is inert (non-reactive). If covered with siding to protect from UV radiation and not exposed to fire or noxious chemicals, it is relatively unaffected by normal environmental conditions.

      As for cost, it’s difficult for me to say because I don’t have experience with typical construction costs in your area and costs of the forms in your area.There is an Indian manufacturer of ICF forms. In the United States, much of the cost lies in additional labor, with multiple pours of concrete and slightly different requirement for finishing. If you’re comparing to all brick construction, that would be quite labor intensive, so I would expect ICF to be cheaper. Compared to plain concrete, I would expect building costs to be higher, but maintenance, heating and cooling to be lower (and a longer lifespan).